OSHA® – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – recently announced some updates to their new Severe Injury Reporting Program, which requires companies to report any serious injury or hospitalization within 24 hours. The first year was found to be quite effective for the companies that complied. Unfortunately, not all businesses did. Thus, the agency announced that they would be issuing even more citations and increasing the amount of fines in the second year of the program
By the Numbers
According to OSHA®’s report, Year One of OSHA’s Severe Injury Reporting Program: An Impact Evaluation, 2015 saw companies report 7,636 hospitalizations and 2,655 amputations.
Industries with the highest hospitalization rates include: Manufacturing (26%), Construction (19%), Transportation & Warehousing (11%), Retail Trade (8%), Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (6%), Health Care and Social Assistance (6%), Wholesale Trade (5%), and Oil & Gas Extraction (3%). Other Industries accounted for 16%.
Industries with the highest amputation reports include: Manufacturing (57%), Construction (10%), Wholesale Trade (5%), Retail Trade (5%), Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (4%), Transportation and Warehousing (4%), and Oil & Gas Extraction (4%). Other Industries account for approximately 11%.
Sadly, OSHA noted that many of these incidents could have been easily prevented.
Actions OSHA Is Taking to Further Reduce Severe Injuries
In order to combat the number of severe injuries and amputations that are occurring in the workplace, OSHA is taking a number of actions. These include, in part:
- Developing outreach strategies for small and mid-sized employers, who may not be aware of the change in policy.
- OSHA is now more likely to cite companies for failing to report injuries.
- Fines for not timely reporting a severe injury have risen from $1,000 to $7,000.
- This will soon increase even more once Congressional legislation takes effect.
- If an employer knowingly failed to report an incident, the fines could be much higher, with one case already exceeding $70,000 in fines.
Actions YOU Can Take to Reduce/Eliminate Severe Injuries
Although OSHA is tightening restrictions and increasing fines, there is much more that can be done to prevent these injuries and amputations from occurring in the first place. The most important thing your organization can do is utilize a comprehensive safety awareness program that also engages employees.
Employee engagement is a deeply rooted, emotional connection with an organization and its values, which creates and influences a positive corporate culture that fosters prosperity. An engaged employee is motivated to see the company reach its goals and has a sense of ownership regarding the wins and losses that are felt along the way.
When employees are engaged, companies experience 48% fewer safety incidents, and absenteeism and turnover rates reduce by 37%. These same companies also see a 22% increase in profitability and a 21% increase in productivity.
For these reasons -- among many others -- be certain that the safety incentive program you select focuses on proactive safe work behaviors.
C.A. Short Company partners with companies to manage, drive and facilitate increased employee engagement to increase financial performance, productivity, quality, and core performance outcomes. Our process and research-based platform enables executives and managers to engage their teams to increase the bottom line, motivate staff, and incentivize positive behavior. To request a Complimentary Consultation, please click here.